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Two days in Basel Switzerland (after Viking Cruise)

I really want to see the countryside! We will have just completed seven days of city tours and are eager to get into the countryside- Any suggestions on tours or tour companies?? First week of September

Posted by
8889 posts

Do you really mean the countryside? Not even small towns, just the earth under your feet?
Basel has enough for well over 2 days, but if you don't want that . . . .

Guided tours or tour companies are not so common, best to use local public transport.
The following are suggestions for country walks around Basel. Plenty of options, all accessable by public transport from Basel. I could also give you a longer list.

If you want the real Alps, Titlis mountain with a small glacier on top which you can walk in and inside (ice cave). This is a full day trip, train from Basel and then cable car to the top:

The cruise companies offer walking tours of Basel, I don't kinow if they all do, but I keep on seeing these groups of people with a guide carrying the logo of a cruise company when I am walking through town.

Posted by
4370 posts

It wasn't on the cruise itinerary, but we had a short tour (about 2 hrs) of Basel before the official start of our Viking cruise. We arrived to the ship and an option was to take a city tour. We walked to the muenster, the bridge by the art museum and to the rathuis. We had stayed in Basel a couple days before the cruise so we'd already seen the sites included in the tour, but it was enjoyable, in any case. Our cruise went in the other direction (I'm assuming yours starts in Amsterdam) so I can't speak to whether they'd offer something at the end. I will say that at the end of our cruise in Amsterdam there wasn't any kind of tour offered.

I will add, that I had contacted the Basel tourism office prior to our trip and they mailed a lot of great info including some walking tours of the town. They may have info on options outside of Basel. The option to do Titlus from Basel sounds like a good idea to me. We did Rigi from Luzern and really enjoyed it. I think Titlus would be a similar experience but the travel logistics from Basel sound simpler than I'm guessing Rigi would be.

Basel is a pretty little town and even if your desire is to see the countryside, I would try to reserve at least a couple hours to walk around Basel's quaint and colorful old town, if you don't get a city tour with your cruise.

Posted by
808 posts

We had a cruise that ended in Basel and included a day trip to Lucerne. It took about an hour to drive there with some lovely countryside - bucolic wooden swiss chalets, cows and our first peek at mountains. You can take a Swiss Railways train = SBB. It's an easy walk from the Lucerne train station to all the main sites. Lucerne is a wonderful town to wander around, take a lake cruise, go see mountains, etc.

From Basel you can also reach Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls fairly easily by Deutsche Bahn = DB train.

There are multiple train stations in Basel so know which ones (swiss or german) you're planning to travel with.

For tour companies you can always check out Viator and see if anything suits your needs. We've had good luck with the companies they rep - you just need to know what the refund policy is (they are different depending on who the tour company actually is). Also whether its a private tour, where do they pick you up, etc.

Posted by
4370 posts

I agree with cj-traveler that Luzern is a very special place to visit. I just wanted to point out that to visit Luzern from Basel is very, very simple to do on your own. I've looked at a few of the Viking extensions and felt they were extraordinarily expensive. Luzern is an easy train ride from Basel and is a very easy town to visit and enjoy.

Posted by
1781 posts

Hi Amy, we did this Viking River cruise (in reverse) in Oct 2017. Great cruise, you will have a wonderful time! We flew into Zurich a week early and spent a week in Murren prior to boarding the ship in Basel. Train travel is very easy and efficient. You could do something similar by taking the train from Basel after your cruise. Beautiful country. Hope you have fun!

Posted by
317 posts

I agree with the recommendation to go to Mount Titlis. We stayed for two nights in Engelberg and finished our trip in Luzern for three nights. Mt. Titlis was beautiful and a great adventure. Engelberg is just one hour from Luzern by train. One day there, plus some time to take a paddlewheel steamer on Lake Luzern would be a lovely addition to your trip, whether you stayed in Engelberg or Luzern. We were enchanted by hearing so many cowbells in Engelberg, and had a glorious day to go up to the top of the mountain. If you do this, consider getting off the lift in Trübsee to explore the lake there. It’s about halfway between Engelberg and the summit...beautiful countryside!